AST has had many years experience in the design and integration of toilet modules into rail vehicles, both in the UK and internationally. Many companies manufacture the vacuum toilet system to process the waste and there are some companies that actually manufacture so called turn-key toilet modules. However, due to the differences in vehicle gauge, Interior Trim Interfacing profile, Fixing positions and the frequency of new build train orders, most toilet modules have to be designed and built specifically for the vehicle they will be used in. Only the Toilet system stays the same.
A further complication to anyone embarking on the design of either a Space Saver or Universal toilet is the ability and understanding if the following regulations:
RVAR – Rail Vehicle Access Regulations (1998)
PRM – Persons with Reduced Mobility (2008)
TSI – Technical Specification for Interoperability (2008)
The combined RVAR/PRM/TSI specifications define the requirements of the Interior layout to provide easy access to the installed facilities for wheelchair occupants and other persons with reduced mobility.
FACT: As you can see the PRM/TSI regulations have only been in force since July 2008, therefore only new/refurbished vehicles completed after this date will be required to comply. AST are one of very few companies, to date, to have designed both a Space Saver and universal toilet module the not only complies with all of the above but also GM/RT2100 Issue4 (not yet released). This GM/RT regulation ensures the strength of the modules is also compliant.
Globally, AST are currently looking to develop Bio-Digesting Toilet modules for international train manufacturers and Operators. With AST's experience in not only engineering but Ergonomics and Vehicle Installations, we are sure in the near future some exciting developments will be produced.